Alcóntar is the source of the Almanzora River and its surrounding geographical features make for one of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in the area. The main economic activities of the town are the production of almonds and cold meats and the dry curing of ham. The town also benefits from a natural water spring of great quality. It has about around inhabitants.
Although Alcóntar was not established as an independent municipality until the end of the nineteenth century, the first settlers arrived in the area in the sixteenth, with the Knights of Don Juan de Austria. There are numerous outcrops of water in the Sierra de los Filabres, in which numerous remains of ancient settlements, farmhouses and villages survive today. These are ideal for fans of rural tourism, and can be discovered along excellent hiking routes.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Rosario
This church was built in 1820. Visitors can see an incredibly intricate and life-like icon of Christ inside. Located in Plaza de la Constitución.
Plaza de Alcóntar
The central square of Alcóntar is a crossing point for every street in the town, and a space where the local residents spend their free time.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Torre del Ramil
Also known as the Tower of the Moors, this watchtower was part of the network of fortifications and defensive points built during the Moorish occupation. Built in the Nasrid era, its function was to monitor neighbouring towns and warn of impending attacks, by communicating with the tower of Somontín (to the south) and that of Caniles (to the north). By day, the lookouts would communicate using smoke and at night, using light reflections with mirrors. The Almanzora Valley was something of a warzone due to its location on the border with Murcia, so this tower was the main defensive communication centre. It is a circular stone structure, with the roof and part of the coronation wall now missing as a result of harsh weather conditions in the area over the years. It is located 1km from El Hijate, on a small hill off the AL-6403.
The area surrounding Alcóntar offers great walking opportunities, with routes such as Transandalus, which is ideal for cycling, Sendero PR-A-72 and Sendero El Saúco PR-A-12.
Sierra de Alhamilla
Only 15km northeast of Almeria city is this largely barren and rugged 8,500ha mountain range, designated a protected natural area since 1989. Riven by deep gullies, particularly on its southern slopes, it rises to 1,387m at its highest point at the Colativí peak. It is a sparsely populated area, with only 50 inhabitants in its boundaries. Despite being semi-arid, the Sierra has some outstanding examples of holm oak woodland.
Among the arts and crafts products on offer in Alcóntar, you can find locally produced honey, embroideries and straw work, including baskets and espadrilles.
The local dishes, made with top quality ingredients, never fail to please both residents and visitors. Highlights include delicious potaje blanco (chickpea stew), sopa de ajo (garlic soup), olla de trigo (wheat stew), cordero estofado (lamb leg casserole) and migas (fried bread with pork). Those with a sweet tooth should try the mermelada de higos (fig jam), carne de membrillo (quince bread), hornazos (sweet pastries) and roscos de vino (aniseed biscuits).
Popular festivals in Alcóntar are the pilgrimage of Fiesta en Honor a San Antonio de Padua, Holy Week and Fiestas Patronales en Honor a la Virgen del Rosario. More>